Wednesday, January 16, 2013

No snow...but everything else

Growing up in both Michigan and Papua New Guinea provided two different visions of what the Christmas season should look like. In the former, the holidays included the fairly typical mixture of trees, presents, carols, church programs, family gatherings and if my memory serves me correctly, snow. Exactly how often we actually had a white Christmas and how often I imagine having one are two different things. I could play the historian and look up the records, but that is beside the point. What I remember is the comfort, joy and warmth of the season. Christmas in PNG was somewhat different. As the only two seasons there are wet and dry, the temperature stayed about the same year round, and so Christmas did not "feel" different than any other time. There was also a noticeable lack of economic buildup to the event, with the Christmas sale at the store my dad managed the only mild exception. There was a Christmas concert at school, and other events of that nature, but the general pathos of the place was not the same. Not that I minded playing tennis outside with Fred DeYoung one Christmas day, or being able to walk around outside in a tee shirt during that time of year. There were many positives, it was just not the same.

Having spent the past several years enjoying Christmas in Germany, with its Christmas markets, festive decorations, and yes, even snow, Suzanne and I were in for a different experience this year. This year, were were able to spend time with our whole families, and though we lacked snow at both places, we had everything else. The two weeks leading up to, and including Christmas, were spent in Orlando, where my family was all together for the first time since our wedding. Actually, since a few new little ones joined the crowd, it was the first time that the family, as it now stands, was under one roof. Much fun ensued, and I don't have the space to fill in all the details, but if you know my family, you can imagine what 17 people, including 7 children in a three bedroom house was like. Good times. While enjoying the balmy Florida weather, we found out that the Mortons were actually experiencing a white Christmas in Denison, Tx, but when we returned on the 27th, most of the snow was already gone. We spent the next week with Suzanne's family where we were able to travel to Wichita, Ks to spend time with her extended family, and return to Texas for the college bowl season, and even some cold weather golf. (Carts with plastic coverings and heaters provided a new golfing experience-thanks Papa Morton)

This Christmas was again different than the ones Suzanne and I have spent together. It was full of family, fun, and rest. We hope and pray that your holiday season was equally blessed. School began for me on Monday, and I will try to post again when the semester is underway.